CalciMedica has been saying for a while that it is about to enter clinical trials with a novel oral treatment for autoimmune diseases, and today is the day.
The San Diego-based biotech company said it has delivered the first doses to people in a clinical trial of CM2489, a once-daily pill for moderate to severe psoriasis. Hitting that goal means CalciMedica is scooping up another $6 million in venture financing from its existing backers—Sanderling Ventures, GlaxoSmithKline’s SR One investment arm, and Biogen Idec New Ventures. The company says it will use the cash to complete this initial safety study, of 48 healthy volunteers, by the third quarter.
CalciMedica, founded in 2006, has now raised a total of about $25 million to pursue its ideas for making drugs that have new ways of working against calcium channels on the surface of cells. This is one of many ideas researchers are pursuing in a quest to develop a drug that can effectively tamp down an overactive immune system that attacks healthy joints or skin tissue, without making people vulnerable to infections. As if that isn’t hard enough, CalciMedica is also hoping to do this with an oral pill that would be more convenient than lucrative injectable medicines of today like Amgen’s etanercept (Enbrel), and Abbott Laboratories adalimumab (Humira).
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